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Sun Dec 04 22:27:06 CAT 2016

Flags to be at half-mast in SA to mark Castro’s death

TMG Digital | 2016-11-29 08:15:50.0
A photograph of Cuba's former President Fidel Castro is seen during a tribute ceremony, following the announcement of the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in La Paz, Bolivia.
A photograph of Cuba's former President Fidel Castro is seen during a tribute ceremony, following the announcement of the death of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro in La Paz, Bolivia.
Image by: DAVID MERCADO / REUTERS

President Jacob Zuma has ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast at all stations in South Africa on Tuesday to mark the death of former president of Cuba‚ Fidel Castro.

Castro – whom‚ the Presidency said‚ “not only identified with the struggle against apartheid‚ but also inspired the Cuban people to join South Africans in that struggle” - passed away on November 25 at the age of 90.

The Presidency statement said that Zuma will travel to Havana to attend Castro’s funeral‚ and that the national flag “is flying at half-mast in the South African mission in Cuba until the 4th of December”.

It said Zuma “has once again conveyed a message of condolence to the government and the people of Cuba‚ following the passing on of former president Castro”. “Condolence books have been placed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria‚ Tuynhuys in Cape Town and at the offices of the premiers throughout the country‚” the statement said.

“President Zuma has reiterated that the people of South Africa share the loss of the Cuban people and stand with them in this time of grief and mourning.”

The ANC will hold memorial services in Gauteng and the Western Cape on Wednesday “in remembrance and honour” of Castro‚ whom it described as “one of the greatest revolutionaries of our time‚ a great friend and ally of the ANC‚ the alliance‚ the broader national liberation movement and the people of South Africa as a whole”.

“He was with us throughout the period of heightened repression by the apartheid regime and throughout the 30-year period of exile‚ underground armed struggle and international isolation of the apartheid regime‚ right from the victory of the Cuban revolution in 1959‚” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

The ANC’s Western Cape service takes place at the OR Tambo Community Hall in Khayelitsha‚ while the Gauteng event takes place at the Johannesburg City Hall.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will on Thursday host a memorial service “in remembrance of Comandante Fidel Castro” at the Protea South Multipurpose Centre in Soweto.

“The passing of Comandante Castro is a loss to us in the African continent as well for we benefited from his leadership and the revolution he led on behalf of his people‚” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“This revolution‚ the Cuban Revolution‚ is the greatest human gift of the 20th century because through it‚ and because of it‚ the people of the global south benefited from the example‚ the benevolence‚ selflessness and generosity of the Cuban people.”

Boycott‚ Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa) will hold a tribute event in Braamfontein in Johannesburg on Wednesday for Castro‚ whom it described as a “comrade of Nelson Mandela‚ supporter of the anti-apartheid movement‚ ally of African liberation movements and friend of the Palestinian struggle has passed away”.

BDS South Africa quoted a 2014 article titled “Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza”‚ in which‚ it said‚ Castro wrote: “Why does the government of this country [Israel] think that the world will be impervious to this macabre genocide that is being committed today against the Palestinian people?”

 – TMG Digital

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